All posts tagged Religion

The Witnessing

Published July 31, 2012 by rlmcdermott

They are coming
to sell me Jesus
knocking on my door
in the late afternoon
as the sun slowly
retreats from the
apartment’s tiny alcove.

I still myself for God
knowing he would never
knock so conspicuously.
Brightly-colored pamphlets
sharpen their teeth against
the men’s rough hands.
Those hands mean no good–
they push at words
like they would push at me,
fleshy and insistent, always
wanting their own way.

They will take who I am
and sell it. For sale:
the alcoholic father,
the abusive mother,
the days of anger, terrible
words and blows, Sundays
barricaded in a shared
bedroom forced to whisper
the rosary because she said so.

They can have it–
the name,
the unsocial security
of compensations
that have outlasted
dangerous times.
I am a veteran
of my own pain;
stolen from life
by bigger enemies
than these small men–
who would covet a name
that means remembrance?

Love Poem

Published July 12, 2012 by rlmcdermott

This is the way to love a man–
pursuing him down dimly-lit theologies,
wrestling him to the ground,
undressing him with your eyes
until he is only bleached bone.

Jacob knew this as he lay
prostate on the ground beneath
the furious muscle of his lover’s arms;
his heart beat in his chest
as if a god had touched him
and not another man.

The excuses we make to ourselves
when we love, not with the senses,
but with the deep, murmuring
memory of a time when flowers
grew inside our cells and we
were all pistil and stamen and
certain that connection was only
dependent on ourselves.